Federal Budget

The “Government Shutdown” Fraud

Featured image The press is starting to beat the usual drums about the horror of a possible “government shutdown” Friday night if Congress can’t pass a budget or a stopgap spending bill. This does seems slightly unusual in that Republicans control both Congress and the executive branch, so what is there to fight about, unlike previous showdowns that pitted a Republican Congress against a Democratic president. I guess the Senate needs some »

Taxing Times, and That Ol’-Timey Liberal Religion

Featured image I was on the road all this past week with a hectic itinerary on both coasts, so I wasn’t paying especially close attention to the news. Did I miss anything? Ah yes—I see Democrats are in a rage that Republicans have taken Nancy Pelosi’s advice to pass a bill to find out what is in it with the tax reform bill. They’re acting as though Republicans, in wheeling and dealing »

Monkey business at the CBO?

Featured image The mainstream media almost never mentions the Congressional Budget Office without adding the adjective “non-partisan.” But the CBO is staffed by folks who, in real life, are probably partisan. And given the pool from which its staff is drawn, most very likely are partisan Democrats. Are its findings infected by partisan bias? I don’t know. But something funny is going on with the CBO’s assessment of the impact of repealing »

The Case for Spending Caps

Featured image The Budget Control Act of 2011 resolved the purported “debt ceiling crisis” of that year, when it was widely (but falsely) alleged that the U.S. would go into default if the debt ceiling were not increased. Hardly anyone liked the sequestration that resulted from that budget compromise, but I did. It was the only effective check on federal spending in my lifetime. This video by the Center for Freedom and »

Washington Post makes wild claim about Trump’s budget

Featured image “President’s plan could stretch nation’s income inequality to ‘extreme’ levels.” That’s the headline in the paper edition of the Washington Post of an article about President Trump’s proposed budget. Can a budget that cuts taxes and makes appreciable but relatively minor cuts in spending on giveaway programs really “stretch [the] nation’s inequality to ‘extreme’ levels”? I doubt it, and nothing in the Post’s story supports such a claim. To assess »

Trump’s Budget Assumes Reasonable GDP Growth, Liberals Go Ballistic

Featured image President Trump’s first proposed budget was released today, to howls of outrage from the left. The New York Times issued an email breaking news alert: The Times’s claim that Trump’s budget assumes “improbable economic growth” was mild compared to the reaction from most of the liberal commentariat. Slate, for example, initially headlined “The Trump budget forecasts 3 percent growth for 10 years, is insane,” but then backed off to “Trump’s »

House approves spending bill

Featured image The House today voted to approve a spending bill that, if approved by the Senate, will keep the federal government up and running through September. The vote was 309-118 (NOTE: or 310-117, according to other reports I’ve seen). It had majority support from both Democrats and Republicans. More than 90 percent of Democrats supported it. Republicans were much more closely divided, with only about 55 percent of the caucus backing »

Conservatives condemn spending deal; Trump talks of “shutdown” in the Fall

Featured image Scott has described the briefing in which the White House tepidly defended (if I’m reading Scott’s post correctly) the spending deal. Since that briefing, President Trump seems to have abandoned any pretense that the deal is acceptable. As Scott later noted, Trump has tweeted that “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” Trump needed to distance himself from the deal. Rush Limbaugh has panned it. My »

A government shutdown over the Mexico wall?

Featured image Senate Democrats are threatening a government shutdown over funding for President Trump’s wall on the Mexican border. The New York Times’s Alan Rappeport notices their hypocrisy: Democrats pilloried Republicans for irresponsibly shutting down the government when Barack Obama was president, but as a minority party struggling to show resistance in the era of President Trump, they are now ready to let the lights of government go dark. A group of »

More Soldiers, Fewer Bureaucrats

Featured image That is President Trump’s budget proposal in a nutshell. Trump’s plan will include a “whopping” $54 billion increase in defense spending, according to the Associated Press. That will take the defense budget a little more than half way to where it was when President Obama started cutting it in 2011. The president’s budget will “impose corresponding cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid,” meaning pretty significant cuts for most federal »

Obama’s Lame Duck Budget

Featured image President Obama has unveiled his last budget proposal, which calls for $4.1 trillion in spending for FY 2017. In the final year of his presidency Obama is by definition a lame duck. With Republicans in control of Congress–even though it doesn’t always seem like it–he is the lamest possible duck. As always, Obama’s final budget purports to cover the next ten years. But since Obama will be gone in a »

The problem with Speaker Ryan in one headline

Featured image Yesterday’s Washington Post featured an article by Amber Phillips called (in the paper edition) “A dismal congressional session, but a flicker of hope.” According to Phillips, the “hope” lies in the “fresh face” of Speaker Paul Ryan and the bipartisanship he has already demonstrated. That the Washington Post sees hope in Ryan’s emergence tells conservatives everything they need to know about the new Speaker. Moreover, an article like Phillips’ is »

Paul Ryan Explains

Featured image Both here on Power Line and elsewhere Speaker Paul Ryan and congressional Republicans in general have been taking heavy weather for the sorry outcome of the omnibus budget that passed last week. Ryan went on Bill Bennett’s radio show on Tuesday to tell his side of the story, which involves the fact that he inherited from outgoing Speaker John Boehner an unfavorable budget framework, as well as some of the tradeoffs involved »

Thoughts on the Budget Fiasco [with comment by Paul]

Featured image I’m still scratching my head about the results of the omnibus budget that passed last week, in which it appears Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. About the only tangible victories were the ending of the ban on oil exports, and the torpedoes launched at Obamacare (i.e., cutting off the insurance company bailout, and postponing the “Cadillac” tax on health plans, though I acknowledge the contrary case that »

Which Republican has hurt conservatism the most?

Featured image By this time next year the answer might be easy: Donald Trump, if you count him as a Republican. For now, Paul Ryan ranks at the top of my list. Your answer will depend, naturally, on how you view conservatism. But when we look at Ryan’s omnibus spending bill, we see a nearly across-the-board sell out on issues that most conservatives view as fundamental. Rick Manning, President of Americans for »

Tom Cotton and Harry Reid Agree On Omnibus Spending Bill

Featured image When Senators Tom Cotton and Harry Reid agree on something, you could call it a pretty strong consensus. And they both see Paul Ryan’s omnibus spending bill as a huge win for the Democrats. Harry Reid ran a victory lap: Senate Democrats on Friday boasted that they successfully managed to get just about everything they wanted in a massive spending and tax cut bill, despite being the minority party in »

GOP leadership caves on Gosar Amendment

Featured image More bad news about the Omnibus spending bill: the Gosar Amendment language has been stripped out. This language would have prevented the Obama administration from implementing its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule (AFFH), a radical plan to use the power of the national government to create communities of a certain kind, each having what the federal government deems an appropriate mix of economic, racial, and ethnic diversity. Apparently, Mitch McConnell »